Electromagnetic and climatic foundations of human aggression

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Heat is associated with human aggression in field research, assumedly by affecting emotions, but it is not in laboratory experiments. Since this may be so because temperature functions as a proxy for UV radiation in field settings, not in the laboratory, this research tested, across 126 countries, whether temperature loses its predictive capacity when the electromagnetic variable is controlled. Temperature presented null statistical effects when UV radiation was controlled, although it exhibited a tangential contribution in mediation analyses. The results revealed strong direct effects of UV radiation on Van de Vliert and Daan's (2017) aggression composite scores, and strong indirect effects on homicide rate. Economic inequality emerged as a strong mediator related to homicide rate, not to the aggression composite, while steady rain, pathogen prevalence, per capita income and cognitive performance contributed to the explanation of human aggression. These findings suggest that the heat-aggression paradigm has outlived its usefulness and that global warming should not be expected to increase aggression via emotions. Future studies must address UV radiation's effects across routine activity patterns, strengthen the construct validity of measures of aggression, target omitted variables, and confirm the theorized role of testosterone as a mediator using field and, especially, laboratory studies.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo101953
PublicaciónJournal of Environmental Psychology
EstadoPublicada - mar. 2023


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